Elizabeth Held's blog

Question About Agriculture? Ask a Farmer on Twitter

Twitter users often use #FF (short for "Follow Friday") to highlight people they think their followers should follow as well. Today, though, I’m using #FF for "Follow Farmers."

When I first started to explore agriculture a few years ago, I was surprised to discover what a great resource Twitter is. There are a huge number of passionate farmers on Twitter, committed to sharing information about food and farming and to answering any questions consumers may have.

I’ve rounded up a list of some of my favorite farmers on Twitter:

What Happens When You Stop Using Crop Protection

A new study from a European farm organization highlights just how important crop protection tools – like insecticides, herbicides and fungicides – are to farmers.

The report found that if regulations were to limit the crop protection products available in Europe, food supplies will be put at risk and unemployment will rise, costing the economy billions.

It's Been a Lovely Summer for GMO Safety

The past few months have given me quite a few reasons to break out my I Love GMOs shirt

How Farmers Conserve Water in a Drought

A group of California farmers did the unexpected this year: They beat their water conservation goals.

In spite of an ongoing drought and scorching temperatures, Western farmers continue to produce food, while also cutting their water use. How is this possible? Today’s farmers make use of a variety of technologies, strategies and innovative solutions:

How GMO Technology Saved the Papaya

Oh, sweet summertime. These long, hot days are the perfect chance to enjoy cool, refreshing fruits and vegetables. They keep you hydrated, are chock full of vitamins and are, of course, delicious. Pineapple. Watermelon. Strawberries. I could go on.

But one popular summertime fruit, the papaya, was almost wiped out. June is National Papaya Month and a great time not just to enjoy papayas, but also to learn about how it’s only thanks to biotechnology that we’re all able to eat Hawaiian papaya today.

Future of Food, Part IV: A Farmer with a Vision

Fourth in an occasional series. (See part one, part two and part three.)

For Brian Scott, a row crop farmer in Indiana, self-driving cars aren’t all that futuristic sounding.

Emma Watson Got Something Wrong About Agriculture Production

Actress Emma Watson might be best known for playing “the brightest witch of her age,” Hermione Granger, in the Harry Potter movies, but she has gotten some of her facts wrong about agriculture.

Watson wore a dress made partially of organic silk at the recent Met Gala, a celebration of fashion and art. On her Facebook page, Watson said she chose organic cotton because it’s more sustainable than conventionally grown cotton. In reality, organic and conventional farmers, who grow food and fiber, use a number of tools to promote sustainability on their fields.

Our Favorite Breakfast Beverage Is Under Siege

A few months back at a family reunion, my mom and I seriously considered hiding the orange juice from the rest of our relatives. We were in Florida, drinking delicious, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and we really didn’t want to share with the 20 relatives we were staying with.

It was just so good.

Fortunately, our better judgment prevailed, and we did share. And then went to the market to buy more.

My family is not alone in our love of orange juice. Americans drank almost 1.2 billion gallons of O.J. in 2010.

A (Half) Dozen Reasons to Ignore the Dirty Dozen

It’s that time of year- The Environmental Working Group released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list today. The list features twelve fruits and veggies that EWG says have the “highest pesticide loads.” In actuality, the report features a lot of pseudoscience, misinformation, and questionable methodology. Here are a half dozen reasons to ignore the Dirty Dozen.


GMOs Have "This One Weird Trick" for Eliminating Dangerous Mycotoxins

elizabeth-held-i-heart-gmosWhen people ask my why I’m wearing my “I love GMOs" shirt, I like to talk about a little-known biotech success story: mycotoxins.